Lim warns Pakatan to guard against losing direction

By Queville To
Free Malaysia Today

21 November 2010

KOTA KINABALU: A senior Pakatan Rakyat leader is distressed that the opposition front is making the assumption that they are on an unstoppable march to Putrajaya.

DAP advisor Lim Kit Siang, on a visit to Sabah over the weekend, urged the Pakatan leadership to acknowledge they are facing a crisis of public confidence as a result of the series of defeats in the recent by elections, besides some problems in coalition parties.

“The Pakatan leaderships will have to meet seriously to take stock on this situation and take into account the public concerns and loss of confidence of the direction of the PR,” he told reporters at a news conference here Saturday.

“All coalition partners will have to buck up and pull up their socks. This includes the DAP in the seats that Barisan Nasional (BN) feels they can win back like Kedah and Selangor and states like Kelantan and Penang where they (BN) think is difficult but Pakatan should not think we are invincible and cannot be conquered,” he said.

Lim said the BN confidence can bee seen from comments made by BN leaders such as Umno information chief Ahmad Maslan who announced that the ruling coalition is on a roll following its victories in Bagan Pinang, Batu Sapi and Galas.

Ahmad, who is also the deputy minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, was disputing a statement by former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad who told a news network recently that the BN would not be able to recapture the two thirds majority they once enjoyed in Parliament.

“They (BN leaders) have openly talked about winning two states … Kedah and Selangor and that they can even try to capture Penang,” said Lim.

The veteran politician urged the opposition parties and their supporters to keep working for a ‘inclusive’ Malaysia and reminded them that nothing would be decided until the day of the elections.

“I think that would be a fatal assumption for anyone to cite specific factors to predict an election victory. This was demonstrated in 2008. Before that there was the Ijok by-election where Khalid was badly defeated but in the 2008 general elections he not only won handsomely in Ijok but Pakatan went on to win Selangor and four other states,” Lim pointed out.

  1. #1 by lcclck on Sunday, 21 November 2010 - 12:35 pm

    Dear YB, I acknowldeged your great wisdom : “I think that would be a fatal assumption for anyone to cite specific factors to predict an election victory.”
    Dear YB,
    I could be having too much and too high expectations from full time politicians like you and the rest who offered themselves to serve public as politicians, you all as politicians should not be forgetful on how the public surveys revealed that the least trustable amongst all professions is Politician!!
    Dear YB,
    Just as when DAP lost PJU in those years to MCA from 1995, 1999, 2004, then in 2008 DAP won back PJU simply because most Malaysians are unhappy with BN, not that most of those voted against BN loved DAP!!
    Dear YB,
    Not that I am supporting the comments of Tun Mahathir as above, but the facts remained that DAP won in 2008 not all on their own merits, and surely we are monitoring their ADUNs and MPs against what we expect and hope to be served.
    That goes for PKR, PAS, and subsequently PR was formed out of good understandings and also political convenience to wrestle powers from BN in Kedah, Perak, Selangor, and soon Perak was lost back to BN as several PR’s ADUNS could not be united and could not resist temptations against their personal urgent needs which PR could not fulfill their desires, Perak fell and till today we were bombarded by BN controlled media to highlight each and single mess in PR.
    Dear YB,
    Zaid left PKR and Zaid also lost the contest for the Ulu Selangor MP contest then. Zaid may set up another party and will this help PR??
    Dear YB,
    I must give you the credit and due recognition for what you had written diligently on your BLog, and you always updated all readers on your latest issues, you are truly a Champion of Blogs.
    Dear YB,
    Power is making many those who are crazy about power to have gone crazy and virtually ‘Mad’!!!
    Dear YB,
    This observation is NOT limited to BN’s politicians but also true to all others.
    Dear YB,
    I noted that what public cared most is what affected them dearly on their daily lives, and with some whom are wiser they could look beyond the current horizons, but please do NOT forget the real KING makers are those who are staying in rural and remote areas,
    Dear YB,
    Unless you PR could be more hardowrking than messing amongst yourselves, what happened on 8th March, 2008 could be just a Lightning that flashes in the History of Malaysian Politics.
    Go to the rural areas, and serve then, serve them honestly, diligently and LOVE them as your children, help them in any manners you could, and until you all could appreciate this, your plans to occupy the Offices of Putrajaya will remain as Dream that became NIGHTMARES!!
    Humbly yours,
    Peter Leow

  2. #2 by k1980 on Sunday, 21 November 2010 - 3:18 pm

    Koh: Hey, no more dvds lately? How is your Snake-in-the-eagle’s-shadow technique?

    Chua: Shut up and concentrate on your praying-mantis kungfu.

  3. #3 by Jeffrey on Sunday, 21 November 2010 - 5:32 pm

    If PR’s problems were just due to overconfidence or complacency, it would be easier to address. The trouble which makes PR’s problems intractable is that they are due to Anwar’s leadership’s shortcomings (as Zaid Ibrahim said), and notwithstanding that, he cannot be easily replaced!

    In last 308 GE, Anwar’s shortcomings were not the highlight. BN’s shortcomings were. All PR had to do was to talk of Change and New Politics. Many would vote for a Political Novice, Joe Anonymous and even a Monkey fielded by PR than a BN’s Ministerial Heavy Weight.

    But conditions are different after that election. PR is now expected to not just play the traditional opposition’s function of exposing the incumbent (BN)’s foibles but also administer the states won by it as measured against the very standards that PR set high in last GE, when lambasting BN. This is where PR is in trouble. This is because PKR’s and Anwar’s problems are not theirs alone but also PR’s since PKR is the glue of the other 2 disparate coalition parties and Anwar is ensconced on the driver’s seat on the road race to Putrajaya. Anwar would still be the same Anwar before or after 308 but the expectations and demands after 308 for the kind of quality the leader of PR must have to take it all the way to Putrajaya have changed to be greater.

    What are these demands and expectations?

    Congruence/consistency between words/campaign rhetoric on one hand and deeds/action/implementation on the other is one such heightened expectation of leadership. I don’t just mean Anwar’s talking different nuances to Malay and Non Malay audiences or being seen not taking quick disciplinary action against his lawyer Zul Nordin (since defected from PKR). Whilst condemning BN’s backdoor takeover of Perak by crossovers he forgot that he was the one who whilst in TDM’ administration helped destabilise Joseph Pairin’s PBS State Government by cross overs and whilst in PR first boasted of 30+ crossovers in Sept 16th to take over the Federal Govt.

    Knowing such sensitivities of Sabahans and in spite of PR’s platform that Sabah’s affairs is for Sabahans to determine, Anwar/Azmin nominated Ahmad Tamrin Jaini as Sabah PKR’s chief and Ansari Abdullah as Batu Sapi’s candidate, overriding local PKR Sabah’s other preferred choices.

    Another expectation is that the PKR/PR’s leadership has the ability to manage and mediate (without washing dirty linen in public) the political ambitions of not just the Political Novices, Joe Anonymous and Monkeys elected in last GE but also its closest and key party lieutenants. We have seen how some of these have defected and helped BN usurped control of the Perak Assembly. Now we have Zaid leaving.

    Of course Zaid is ambitious but who isn’t – Anwar, Azmin? To mediate successfully the De Facto Leader has to look at merits and not play favorites in disregard of democratic principles he espouses.

    It may perhaps be natural that Anwar would favour his long time loyal protégé Azmin Ali to take over PR’s leadership and become PM if PR wins the elections. After all, his protégé is, to him, most loyal to guard his confidences and dependable to extricate him from prison if PR wins power.

  4. #4 by Jeffrey on Sunday, 21 November 2010 - 5:54 pm

    (Continuing) However, one cannot play favourites to the extent of ignoring (my personal opinion only) Zaid’s comparatively better stature/credentials to lead or just pushing under the carpet the alleged voting irregularities of PKR’s party polls stacked against him; or contrary to PR’s non interference of Sabah PKR’s affairs kick up a row over Zaid’s visit to Sabah PKR, and then hand-pick from Semenanjong side Sabah PKR’s chief and Batu Sapi’s candidate to bolster Azmin’s influence over there.

    It is easy to condemn Zaid – that he is ungrateful, overly ambitious etc but is he the only one complaining about Anwar’s failings in leadership? Why are those amongst many in the communities of Civil Society (for eg Harris Ibrahim) Blogs (eg RPK) NGOs (eg Dr Kua Kia Soong) and Public Intellectuals (Din Merican) who certainly have no love for BN and who supported PR in last GE now moot this inchoate idea of a ‘Third Force’ if they have confidence in Anwar’s leadership?

    These demands and expectations now overtake Anwar who is wanting. The unfortunate part (for PR) is that there is simply no one who has yet emerged who could replace Anwar appeal and charisma as PR’s leader and glue of its disparate parties, no matter how flagrant his shortcomings as a leader! Now Kit Siang is by merits a more qualified leader but since when Merits/Qualifications more important than Race factor??

    Zaid has to leave because he burns his bridges with Anwar. No matter the truth of what Zaid says people just either refuse to acknowledge Anwar’s leadership shortcomings or accept them and prefer to condemn detractors like Zaid, in the fashion of what RPK said about “Ends Justifies the Means” – even if the Means (Anwar’s shortcomings) may well subvert the prospects of the very Ends (PR reaching Putrajaya) that he sets out – simply because, when people look around, there’s simply no other Means (ie viable alternative Malay leader of credibility and acceptance by all within the PR Coalition) on whom they can pin their homes of Regime Change! This absence of 2nd echelon alternatives and putting up with Anwar’s shortcomings is truly PR’s Achilles’s heel!

    Finding no way out within PKR, Zaid has to leave and when he gets chastised (even by Karpal) and defends, it only serves BN’s ends of exposing daily in Mainstream Media PKR’s washing dirty linens in public.

    If that is going to be the way of no solution to this leadership issue, more and more of the idealistic segment of civil society, blogging and NGO’s may also wash PKR’s dirty linens in public via the Alternative Media.

    The opponent BN is resource rich; it engages a plethora of image and PR consultants to manage its public image. It is now diverting attention away from its own implosion (after 308) by probing PKR/PR’s leadership weaknesses by inviting persons/parties of divergent views to join it.
    In 308, PR had massive support in the urban areas, which is not enough as it has to also make headway in rural or semi constituencies, the bulwark of BN’s support such as Hulu Selangor. Before PR could even make that headway in that direction, the PKR’s leadership is now alienating the confidence of a segment of civil society, blogging and NGO’s support which has considerable influence on urban Net savvy electorate that contributed to its victories in 308! Can PR afford this? With these problems, PR would be very lucky if it could just hold on to the 308 gains.

  5. #5 by logicalmal on Sunday, 21 November 2010 - 11:51 pm

    The problem with the opposition (PKR) is that they focus on blaming Zaid instead of acknowledging that there are problems in the whole incident and admit that work is required to improve it. Zaid will not be the last and incidentally in this incident I salute Zaid for doing what he has done instead of continuing to be part of the flawed system. In fact, it is not healthy that Anwar has openly aligned himself to certain faction in PKR. Like I have said before, all these supporters of his will expect some kind of benefits from him or else they will betray him for sure. But how can Anwar unilaterally give his supporters benefits if there are partners like DAP and PAS who may be playing a much bigger role in the opposition? In fact, there is already perception that PKR is a liability to PR. I think PKR is in a state of denial, an accusation Anwar has often used against BN. I respect DAP and the politics it has been playing prior to partnering Anwar. Not everything about BN is bad and not everything about PKR is good.

  6. #6 by k1980 on Monday, 22 November 2010 - 8:06 am

    UMNO itself was once de-registered. With so many court cases against it by its own party members, will PKR get de-registered too in 2011, just before the 13 GE?

  7. #7 by Bigjoe on Monday, 22 November 2010 - 9:01 am

    I don’t know if they are making the assumption that Sdr. Lim is charging them to be. What is clear is that PR leaders can fail just as badly as UMNO/BN leaders. They may not do it as often but they have less opportunity to do so.

    Its clear PR leaders are not capable of taking us where we need to on their own. Whether we get there or not will depend on fate and luck – largely the fate and luck that BN will continue to screw up even worst then them.

    But its not likely to happen when we and consequently when PR wants it. It will happen when we really pay too much for it. When you look over the horizon, BN simply will not cover enough of their weakness to prevent more problems in the future. When those problems crop up again in the future, when we pay too much for their doing, then PR will get there.

    So basically politically speaking, its a race of who screw up the least.

  8. #8 by dagen on Monday, 22 November 2010 - 9:54 am

    DAP will hv to take on a larger role in GE13. People who are somewhat disillusioned with PKR but still want to see umno out of business would flock to DAP (and PAS of course). So perhaps some re-alignment of pakatan is necessary.

  9. #9 by cemerlang on Tuesday, 23 November 2010 - 6:45 am

    Now somebody said something like this. The people voted the opposition in order to punish the BN. Just like you punish your child but you still love him and once your child behaves himself again, you will even give the world to him.

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